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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Cider Forum > Looking for an explanation on force carbonation
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:13 PM   #1
whizzkid
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Default Looking for an explanation on force carbonation

Hey Guys I've been reading a lot on here about priming corn sugar for forced carbonation. Was wondering how the process worked step by step and, whether this process caused a lot of lees to develop in the bottle. Another thing I was wondering was how sulfites & sorbates played into the equation. Thanks in advance for the help!!!

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Old 09-20-2006, 11:03 PM   #2
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Although I'm still quite a noob myself (haven't even brewed or started brewing anything), from what I can tell, the priming process is providing sugar for the yeasties to respire and produce CO2, which will give you the bubbles. Force carbonation seems to be a process where you don't get yeast to put the CO2 into the brew, but you force the CO2 into the brew with some pump or something - I think they do this somewhat easily and often do do it with kegs.

With the priming I beleive that you add a certain amount of sugar (depending on how bubbly you want it) according to some certain formula - eg xcups of sugar per litre or should I say gallon. I think you then syphon the liquid into the bottles and wait - it seems that the small amount of yeasties just floating in suspension should be enough to produce the right amount of bubbles, so I don't think you would get many left in the bottle as sediment (I may be tottaly off tho).

Sulphites, sorbates, etc kill the yeast, so you don't want to add these if you are using the yeast to carbonate, but you would add it to kill them if you were force carbonating.

Hope that helps a bit.

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Old 09-21-2006, 01:56 PM   #3
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I guess then I'm curious about the carbonation with the priming sugar. I would think there would have to be lee's produced because it's a by product of the yeast consuming sugar, just as the carbon dioxide is. Is there less produced because of the pressure, or isis more condensed because of the pressure or what? I like the idea of letting nature do it's think to my cider, but I'm not too interested in muddy cider.

Thanks for the help!!

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Old 09-21-2006, 03:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whizzkid
I guess then I'm curious about the carbonation with the priming sugar. I would think there would have to be lee's produced because it's a by product of the yeast consuming sugar, just as the carbon dioxide is. Is there less produced because of the pressure, or isis more condensed because of the pressure or what? I like the idea of letting nature do it's think to my cider, but I'm not too interested in muddy cider.

Thanks for the help!!
Not a cider maker, but I make and bottle condition a lot of beer.

You are only adding a VERY small amount of sugar, so the byproducts of fermentation of that sugar my the yeast will be minimal.
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Old 09-21-2006, 03:27 PM   #5
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ALso a beer guy not cider, but I have not had any issues with clarity when priming w/ corn sugar. As Walker-san said, it is a miniscule amount of sugar-3/4 cup per 5Gal batch will do nicely. Also, corn sugar ferments very cleanly, and any residue will settle out nicely with aging. The process is to just boil that amount of corn sugar in a cup or 2 of water, cool, and add to your bottle bucket prior to racking the beer on. That way, you get a nice evenly mixed carb charge. Too easy-did it last night, as a matter of fact.

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Old 09-21-2006, 07:54 PM   #6
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How does the strength of the carbonation compare to say a commercial beer like Bud? Is it more similar to the faint carbonation of a stout?

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Old 09-21-2006, 08:16 PM   #7
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All depends on how much sugar you use. For most, I use 3/4 cup. For some, that I wanted more carbonation, I went closer to a cup. For my stouts, no more than 2/3 cup.

Some use more DME to carb. This requires more, as the corn sugar will ferment more fully, but the DME will impart additional flvor to the beer at conditioning time.

The carbonation is comparable to anything that you would want to emulate. If you like a light fizzy lager like bud, you can make it. Traditional ale with less? tht is fine too.

I bottled a Magic Hat clone last night and used 3/4 cup. I am drinking a coffe cream stout that I used 2/3 in. You will develop a preference as you develop experience.

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Old 09-21-2006, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whizzkid
How does the strength of the carbonation compare to say a commercial beer like Bud? Is it more similar to the faint carbonation of a stout?
priming cider and beer for carbonation is the same, It's the amount of sugar that goes in the yeast that determines CO2 (and sediment) when bottling. For a 'bud fizzy' cider you'd need to add at least an extra half measure of sugar dependant on batch size. I vaguely remember Palmer's free online book 'how to brew' having a chart for CO2 levels that will work with cider too. Experimentation is the other answer but be careful not to over do it - bottle bombs are nasty!!!!
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truble
Some use more DME to carb. This requires more, as the corn sugar will ferment more fully
Quick note whizzkid - Truble means using DME in beer for carbonation NOT cider. Stick with corn sugar for cider. I use DME for beer carbonation like he does but the malt doesn't taste good in cider so don't try it.
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Old 09-21-2006, 08:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caplan
Quick note whizzkid - Truble means using DME in beer for carbonation NOT cider. Stick with corn sugar for cider. I use DME for beer carbonation like he does but the malt doesn't taste good in cider so don't try it.
important clarification. Thx Caplan
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